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Pendleton sets solar panel moratorium

By July 12, 2016August 5th, 2021News

Will be in place for six months while town works on permanent solution.

  • By Kaley Lynch  kaley.lynch@lockportjournal.com
  • Jul 12, 2016

PENDLETON — The town board passed a six-month moratorium on roof-mounted and ground array solar panels at Monday night’s meeting.

The moratorium comes at the request of town planning board chairman Joseph McCaffrey, town supervisor Joel Maerten explained.

“The planning board doesn’t think the current town code is sufficient to deal with solar panels,” he explained.

The planning board will look to revise the town’s code regarding solar panels and lift the moratorium as they finish — possibly lifting the moratorium on rooftop panels first, before the rest of the moratorium is lifted.

“The bigger deal is getting into the solar arrays and commercial panels,” Maerten said.

The town will need to host another public hearing to modify the moratorium.

A public hearing was held on the issue before the town board voted on it, with most residents speaking against the moratorium, expressing concerns that residents will lose out on solar incentives through the New York State Energy and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the federal government through the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit.

“The moratorium will have an economic impact to those of us who want to apply for the incentives,” Pendleton resident Anne Marie Reeb stated.

“I think you’re hurting the middle class with this moratorium,” Zachary Chapman, a Bear Ridge Road resident, said. “Regulation is certainly needed at a reasonable level, but you can’t prove solar panels will be detrimental.”

Paul Lavoie, from WNY-based solar energy company Solar Liberty, said that a Pendleton family filed for a building permit for solar panels in May.

“We already made a commitment to them,” Lavoie said. “We believe we can work with the towns to provide input without placing a moratorium.”